5 Works in Progress!

I told you I’m terrible at consistency when it comes to keeping a diary. Remember this post? I did warn you. Sorry if you’ve been waiting with bated breath! 😉 But, I have been writing, just nothing you can read right now.

Six Days is still at the publishers waiting for edits. It has been a very slow process; it’s my first book deal so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Apparently, patience. And I’ve got it because I’ve been working on five other projects. They are all in various stages of completion but the one I’m working on currently, the one I’m most excited about doesn’t even have a name! Of course, Six Days didn’t have its name until I had to start shopping it around.

My current work in progress (WIP) is about an Irish war vet who is sent home from the war in Syria on a medical discharge after an IED explosion killed his best friend and wounded him. The idea was inspired by this video I saw several months ago:  I jotted a rough blurb on a post-it note and stuck it in my notebook.

Then, on a long flight from Ireland and the UK two months ago a plot popped into my head: an Irish War Veteran dealing with PTSD demons by escaping to the remote Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. He has Butler, his veteran guide dog to help him adjust to life away from war. But then he meets McKenna and finds himself leaving his safe haven to watch her six. Somebody has to because someone is trying to kill her.  Thus began my fifth novel.

Inishmore, Ireland

Inishmore, Ireland

I had such a great time in Ireland and fell in love with the people! I want to go back and live there for a while. Inishmore, the largest of the three islands, is a well known writers retreat. Perfect! Let me go pack my bags!

And like my other novels, I need inspiration for my characters.

The handsome Irish actor, Kevin Ryan is now my novel's Aiden Monaghan.

The handsome Irish actor, Kevin Ryan is now my novel’s Aiden Monaghan.

Let me introduce you to Aiden Monaghan, aka Kevin J. Ryan, a brilliant actor who just so happens to be from Dublin! I’m excited about this novel and hope to have it done in a few months, depending on life events.

The other four novels are sitting there waiting. I look at them every now and then, but I’m too excited to finish Aiden’s story to take the time to dive back into them. Oh, and I can’t forget Butler, his dog… you know you want to see him! 

He’s a German Shepard who was trained to meet Aiden’s PTSD needs. He wakes him up from nightmares, nudges him out of flashbacks and can clear a room like a SEAL team! Unfortunately, he can do nothing about Aiden falling head over heels in love with McKenna! 

#tbt Butler as a puppy!

#tbt Butler as a puppy!

Updates

Last month I was offered a contract on my first novel Six Days! Beyond my wildest dreams – didn’t think my first attempt at writing would ever get this far. For someone who switches ‘careers’ like Jay Z changes clothes, I’m pretty proud of myself for not only finishing the book, but shopping it around. 

I finished Six Days in July of 2013 and had neighbor Jennifer Bateman, a contract editor for Penguin, look it over. She was the first person I let see my words on paper, the first person to tell me I should pursue this. Without her encouragement I never would have finished! Everyone needs cheerleaders in their corner and she was waving her pom poms for publishing like crazy! 

In August of 2013, Savvy Authors hosted a symposium and signed up immediately. They offered workshops, pitching practice, synopsis helps and the reason I joined: the Pitch Room! Editors and agents from different publishing houses accepted pitches from authors, trying to get their manuscripts in front of them. I submitted to seven publishing houses and one agent. I got two instant rejections and four requests for first three chapters. I was ecstatic at the response and encouraged to keep going. In September I submitted to four more houses and two more agents. Some of the editors gave me great feedback and recommendations. I edited based on some of the advice and resubmitted to them. By October I had two editors seriously interested. After some back and fourths I was offered a contract in March of 2014! 

It seems like it took forever from August until today to get where I am (contract expected to arrive early May, 2014) but from what I am learning the publishing world moves slower than I thought. But it’s all good and I’m already working on more novels, excited to keep my momentum going in the direction of selling and sailing. Husband and I have 7 years until we plan to sail away. Publishing more novels will help us sail longer so that is a strong motivation for me.

I’ll announce details when the contract is signed and the champagne is flowing! 🙂